The winner of the Asia Pacific selection event for the 2015 Young Driver Excellence Academy is BJR's Macauley Jones.
The 19 year-old, son of Team BOC co-owner Brad Jones, was chosen to represent the region at the Academy ahead of competing drivers from 9 other countries, each the chosen pick of their National Sporting Authority (ASN).
Held in Beijing, China 4-7-November, the selection event put drivers aged 16-23 from across the region through their paces. This involved a variety of fitness tests, driving performance examinations and mental exercises to determine performance and safety understanding both on and off the track.
Following an intensive four days of competition, six drivers were selected to take part in a final on track shoot-out. Each chosen driver had to set their fastest lap time and the winner was eventually announced as Jones by the judging panel.
Jones was delighted to have his name read out, having been determined the best of the 12 drivers who competed for the prestigious prize.
“It’s very exciting for me. It’s been a long three days and I am really excited that I have been able to come out on top and I am going to the Academy. I am really going to take every opportunity that I can and learn as much as possible from the experiences and the travel. I am really looking forward to it.” Jones said.
A driver in Australia’s Dunlop Series, second only to the V8 Supercar Championship, Jones admits it was not easy.
“I have been pushed in my abilities and I have come out on top which is great. It was a really good competition with some strong drivers there and I feel privileged that I have been able to come out on top.”
Michael Smith, General Manager of Motor Sport from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) which co-hosted the event with China’s ASN the Federation of Automobile Sports of China (FASC), said: “The calibre of candidates was outstanding and all showed a real interest and willingness to learn and win this competition. It was tight, and congratulations to all, but in the end Macauley was the winner and congratulations go to him for this outstanding achievement.” Smith said.
Wan Heping of the FASC also congratulated Macauley on his victory in Beijing.
“The FASC, together with CAMS, was honoured to have hosted the FIA Institute Academy Selection Event. I offer my fullest congratulations to Macauley who now has a coveted spot in the FIA Institute Academy and with it comes a great opportunity to realise his dreams and reach the pinnacle of motor sport. On behalf of everyone that was involved in this event, we wish him the very best of luck in the future.”
After this final selection event for the 2015 Young Driver Excellence Academy, Jones will join the other five regional selection event winners in the 2015 Academy. A number of other wild cards will be selected once every regional selection event has taken place.
All participants in the Academy will receive a fully funded training programme, which aims to develop their motor sport careers, while actively promoting the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility on and off the track. All drivers will benefit from tuition and analysis from ex-Formula One driver Alex Wurz and former World Rally Champion co-driver Robert Reid, who are both Academy Performance Managers.
Macauley is looking forward to being part of the Academy and making the most of this amazing opportunity.
“This is going to be one the determining factors of my career really. It’s such a good opportunity to network and meeting people. I am getting to travel around go to camps where there is also other good drivers and good coaches so I will be able to learn as much as possible from them and really progress in my driving.” Jones said.
Published: 10 November 2014.